She likes to wear layers. T-shirts over dresses, dresses over jeans, things that don't make sense. She pulls her socks up to her knees and wears high heels with them. I don't understand how it's possible, how I see her body better in all those clothes, how it deviates and distends as she reaches to fill her cup with coffee each morning. The more clothing she puts on, the more I want to disrobe her, piece by piece. It's devastating.
The first time I saw her, it was raining. She walked in the bar on a Thursday night, when I go to drink beer and watch soccer with strangers. I've gone every Thursday for three years and had never seen her before. She walked in like she knew the place, and she was dripping wet. The rain pounded against the panes but I couldn't hear it over her voice. She sat at the bar three stools down from me and asked 'tender Tommy for a towel and a tonic. Just a tonic? I asked. I don't drink, she said. You walked into a bar, I said. She said, yeah, it's raining and I wanted to dry off.
Later, much later, I would ask her why she drank tonic. Why tonic, and not soda or juice or water. She just smiled and said she liked the natural taste of bubbles. We would lie together on the floor of my apartment, sometimes naked sometimes not, smoking and listening to film soundtracks on vinyl, our heads sharing a pillow but our bodies in opposition. She would listen to me talk about anything and that's why I fell in love with her. That, and the softness of her ear as it grazed mine. It's amazing, how her ears are good for all kinds of things.
She got very angry at me one night about something I said to her friends at a party. I remember not knowing why she was so mad. She wouldn't speak to me on the way home. I got on my knees in our bedroom and unbuttoned my shirt and told her I adored her and didn't know what I had done wrong, but everything I said just made her more and more angry. She locked herself in the bathroom for a few hours and I sat on the floor leaning against the door frame and when she came out she climbed on top of me. Her face was covered in tears and I held onto her and she kissed me and said she would love me forever and I believed her.
I took a photo of her that night, after the fight, after we made piles out of our clothes and I ran my fingers along her body. I brushed her hair out of her face and used my thumbs to rouge her cheeks, and told her to look at me like she had never seen me before. Her mascara was smeared and her lipstick was gone but she let me take her photo anyway, and it's the most beautiful thing I own or will ever own. There is only one copy, and I made her promise to let me keep it no matter what, in case one day she is gone and all I have left are sweaters and socks.
DWELL: SYLVAN TERRACE ON THE MARKET 2017
19 hours ago